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Common questions

To find out more about mediation, ACAS and CIPD put together a useful guide found here, however we have listed a few FAQs about mediation & mediators below. If you have more questions please contact the PMA office.

About the mediation process

What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process of dispute resolution in which an impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates a series of private and joint meeting with the parties to identify a mutually acceptable and appropriate resolution. Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding process which addresses the underlying (root) causes of conflict or tension. Mediators create the conditions for dialogue using a non-adversarial, non-partisan approach. The final outcome of mediation is agreed by the parties, not the mediator.
How can I use mediation?
Mediation can be used by anyone who is experiencing a conflict or a dispute. Here are a few examples of areas mediation is commonly used in
· Workplace and employment disputes
· Consumer disputes
· Civil and commercial disputes
· Family disputes
· Neighbourhood disputes
Do mediators tell people what to do?
No. Mediators do not tell parties what to do. Mediators do not judge who is right or wrong nor do they impose a settlement or solution. However, mediators may ask all parties challenging and difficult questions during mediation relating to the nature of the conflict, the impact of the conflict and the steps required to reach a resolution.
Where does mediation happen?
Mediation takes place in a neutral venue comprising of three rooms. Each party has their own private room for the entire day and there is a separate room for the joint meetings.
Why does the mediator meet the parties separately?
Having separate meetings with the mediator gives all parties the chance to talk about the conflict from their point of view. The mediator listens to what all parties say and they explore how party's feel, what their concerns are and what their underlying needs are. The mediator, and the parties, explore the conflict from three perspectives: 1) the past, 2) the present and 3) the future. Having listened to all sides, the mediator will propose an agenda for the joint meeting.
Does mediation really work?
Yes - with some of our members have achieved a resolution in over 90% of the cases referred to them. However, for mediation to work it requires a commitment from all parties. By entering into mediation with the right mindset - with a willingness to listen to each other; to be mutually respectful; to challenge and be challenged and to seek a new way of working together - there is every chance that mediation will work.

About mediators/joining the PMA

Who is a professional mediator?
The PMA definition of a mediator is an individual trained to an accredited standard by a recognized training provider. A professional mediator subscribes to competent standards and is committed to their own personal development as a mediator and to the development and promotion of the mediation profession.

Can the PMA provide me with mediators?
The PMA does not offer mediation services however we represent a community of qualified mediation professionals who can take on your case.Details of our members can be found here via our directory. In certain cases we can advertise requests for mediators on our internal job board. If you need help with this contact the PMA office via 02070928840. PMA mediators subscribe to the practice standards recommended in our code of practice.

I have been mediating but I have not undergone any formal mediation training can I join the PMA?
We recognize that mediators come from diverse professional backgrounds thus mediators without formal qualifications can join us on an associate membership or alternatively if you can provide a portfolio of your mediation experience we can conduct a competency assessment to verify if you meet the requirements for our full membership

Is the PMA solely for workplace mediators?
Prior to 2013 the PMA was solely for workplace, consumer and commercial mediators however upon incorporation as a not for profit we are now open to mediators from all backgrounds. Our focus is standards of practice as opposed to mediation backgrounds.

I am thinking of undergoing mediation training does the PMA offer any mediation courses?
The PMA does not compete with providers thus we do not offer mediation training courses however we will  begin accrediting mediation training courses from November 2015 onwards. What we recommend is that new entrants to the profession: Undertake formal training accredited by an external body in their area of interest

External awarding bodies we recommend include:

-Open College Network (OCN)
-Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR)
-Institute of Learning and Management (ILM)

What is the difference between PMA membership and PMA accreditation for individuals?

PMA accreditation simply certifies that you are formally qualified as a mediator by an independent external body. The PMA membership verifies that you subscribe and practice according to our code of conduct and practice, you have the opportunity to attend our events at discounted rates to maintain your professional development and you also have access to peer support and guidance in practicing mediation

What is the difference between a PMA member and a PMA accredited mediator?
A PMA accredited member is mediator who has undergone an additional competency assessment with the PMA, some of the requirements for accredited members include a minimum of 6 mediations and a minimum level of professional development each year. The PMA individual membership is for individuals who are formally qualified and trained to mediate.

I did not train as a mediator in the UK; can I still join the PMA?
Yes, we may ask for additional evidence of your mediation training once you apply however as long as you can provide a certificate to confirm your mediation background this is usually acceptable.







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